The crowd is sticky with anticipation, but I’m anxious with nostalgia. It’s Sunday night, and I’m standing in the middle of my favorite rock club in America, First Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. This isn’t where I learned how to drink, but it’s where I learned how to drink hard. Along the way, I saw Sonic Youth and Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys and Nirvana. I was in grade school but I remember hearing about Prince filming Purple Rain here.
Not tonight. Now I’m embedded in a sea of ties and pearls. Republican delegates and lobbyists mingle on the floor, minutes before Sammy Hagar takes the stage. Everyone is asking the same question: What song will he play first?